Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

As early as kindergarten, children in rural areas are at greater risk for experiencing emotional, behavioral, social and adaptive problems (Girio-Herrera, Owens, Langberg, 2013). School psychologists are the closest network for children within the school, providing services such as assessments, interventions, and consultations (Reschly, 2000). From the limited research, rural school psychologists face unique barriers in their work such as a lack of resources to support children and experiencing professional isolation (Clopton & Knesting, 2006; McLeskey, et al., 1983). These challenges could negatively affect a rural school psychologist’s professional life and job satisfaction; however, this has yet to be thoroughly researched. Previous analyses of variance suggested a significant difference in self-reported job satisfaction between rural (M= 5.89) and suburban (M=5.4) school psychologists, but not urban school psychologists. The goal of this study is to closely examine the current roles and job satisfaction of rural school psychologists through an in-depth qualitative research methodology.

An online survey was completed by 188 school psychologists in rural (n =94) and suburban (n =94) areas in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Participants answered open-ended items that asked about their current and desired roles. Qualitative analyses using Nvivo Software will be used to conduct a content analyses of these open-ended responses; evaluating both common and differing themes in why rural or suburban school psychologists are satisfied or unsatisfied in their roles and functions.

Attendees of this presentation will learn about challenges faced by school psychologists in rural schools and communities. It is our goal to identify any differences found between rural and suburban school psychologists’ job satisfaction, as well as recognizing ways to improve their overall perceptions of their roles and functions in rural schools. Improving their job satisfaction may result in more effective services rendered towards Montanan children.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 12:00 PM

Are You Satisfied: A Qualitative Study on Job Satisfaction in Rural School Psychologists Roles and Functions

As early as kindergarten, children in rural areas are at greater risk for experiencing emotional, behavioral, social and adaptive problems (Girio-Herrera, Owens, Langberg, 2013). School psychologists are the closest network for children within the school, providing services such as assessments, interventions, and consultations (Reschly, 2000). From the limited research, rural school psychologists face unique barriers in their work such as a lack of resources to support children and experiencing professional isolation (Clopton & Knesting, 2006; McLeskey, et al., 1983). These challenges could negatively affect a rural school psychologist’s professional life and job satisfaction; however, this has yet to be thoroughly researched. Previous analyses of variance suggested a significant difference in self-reported job satisfaction between rural (M= 5.89) and suburban (M=5.4) school psychologists, but not urban school psychologists. The goal of this study is to closely examine the current roles and job satisfaction of rural school psychologists through an in-depth qualitative research methodology.

An online survey was completed by 188 school psychologists in rural (n =94) and suburban (n =94) areas in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. Participants answered open-ended items that asked about their current and desired roles. Qualitative analyses using Nvivo Software will be used to conduct a content analyses of these open-ended responses; evaluating both common and differing themes in why rural or suburban school psychologists are satisfied or unsatisfied in their roles and functions.

Attendees of this presentation will learn about challenges faced by school psychologists in rural schools and communities. It is our goal to identify any differences found between rural and suburban school psychologists’ job satisfaction, as well as recognizing ways to improve their overall perceptions of their roles and functions in rural schools. Improving their job satisfaction may result in more effective services rendered towards Montanan children.